the river now looked thin and completely still Seeing it at a distance he had

The river now looked thin and completely still seeing

This preview shows page 38 - 39 out of 214 pages.

the river now looked thin and completely still. Seeing it at a distance, he had to think before it became in his mind a moving thing, not a dead, flat sheet shining passively in the sun.So he knew the river’s motion in his mind, though his eyes perceivedstillness. Once the motion was clear in his mind, it did not stop. It flowed inathought stream that could take him fromthe present all the way back to moments so far in the past his remembrance surprised him.Some of the memories he would never understand. He had known a great happiness at a time about which he remembered nothing but the feeling itself. This remembrance took his feelingback to a time when he was helpless but feared nothing because there was a presence around him that made fear a stranger. He had told people about this feeling and always left them puzzled They said he could have had such a time, because his father died before he was born, and his mother also died in child birth. Yet the feeling was part of his memory, and it was so strong he knew it was true, in spite of what others saw and said. And often as he grew up, he found himself searching, sometimes in anguish, sometimes with sheer desire for a return of that time and of the feeling.Yet life at times became an argument saying that presence, that wholeness he remembered so mysteriously and soughtso naturally, would never be possible in the world outside the wishingmind. He had known people at Esuano, and begun to sees life clearly, but most of the people and most of the life he saw led his mind far astray from the peace he sought.This too he remembered: in his twelfth year something strange had happened. A white man had arrived at Esuano. He was not an official from the castle at cape coast, so people were astonished to see him there at all. They were more astonished when he told them he was a trader on the coast, but had grown tired of trading. He said he wanted to rest. People shunnedhim. They were afraid of him and they had reason enough. He lived as if he and water had quarreled bitterly. He did not like food. his sustenancewas drink and when he was really hungry he would look for fruit, like a child at play, and that would be his Densu went to him and sat watching him. He still went to him long after the other childrenhad fled in fear. One day the stranger white man stopped singing his drunken songs, pointed to hisheart and shouted something.“Collins!” He repeated the name, stabbing his breastrepeatedly with an extended finger.When he stopped, Densu pointed to himself and said “Densu.” The white man roared happily. He seemed immensely pleased with himself that Densu had understood him, as if he had actually taught him to speak. He began a game of names, teaching Densu English words and learning Akan words from him.In less than a month the game of words changed. It became even. Densu went to Collins whenever he had time. The idea of learning the strange language of the white excited him, and he worked hard to make free time for his new passion. Collins taught him willingly. He seemed to meal.
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